The New York Times has this week published an article criticising Apple for paying its retail staff low salaries, despite stressful working conditions and long shifts with no breaks. 9to5Mac has now published several comments from former and current Apple Store employees in response to the article.
The respondents had varied opinions, but overall, the majority of employees seemed to have has a good experience working for Apple. Although some acknowledge that they don't get paid anywhere near what they earn for the company, they mostly agree that they are proud to work for Apple.
"I've been with Apple little over two years," one respondent told 9to5Mac. "It's been a hell of a ride. I wouldn't trade it for any other retail job. My pay isn't great, compared to other retail jobs in the area. We should definitely be paid more than what we are now."
"No matter where you work, there's ups and downs," said Joe Alfano, former Apple employee. "The 4 and a half years I worked for Apple retail was overall positive. The best experience was getting flown across the country to work at Macworld on Apple's behalf."
One of the benefits of working for Apple, said one response, is that there are interesting people to meet, good friends to make, and huge savings on Apple products.
"My Apple retail experience is fun, challenging, and emotionally and mentally rewarding; I've been here a few years now, so this isn't just honeymoon talk" said a second respondent. "Even on the busiest days, working next to some people who represent Apple extremely poorly, I don't regret the time I have spent or will spend with the company."
"My Apple retail experience seems to match that of everyone else's; happy as a kid in a candy store to be granted the opportunity to work for your favourite company," said another employee. "Once the retail sense and tremendous workload and under appreciation kick in, the veil is lifted. However, I learned customer service skills from working with Apple that are unparalleled anywhere else."
When asked whether working for Apple has had a positive impact on each employee's future, the respondents said that potential bosses had been impressed to see Apple on their CV.
Finally, 9to5Mac asked Apple past and present employees whether or not they agreed with NYT's article.
"To a certain extent," said one respondent. "They're pushing our limits a lot, which develops us as employees, but causes burnout quickly amongst most when not compensated enough. I don't mind the work at all, but honestly, the pay isn't that great as a mid-20s-year-old. Everything else (benefits, discounts, stock-plan) have been amazing."
"Making Apple much more money than they pay me means nothing to me," another respondent said. "It pays my bills and at the end of the day that's what matters. I worked at another high-profile technology company, which also made lots of money. And I was making less than I'm making at Apple."
"We do work more than we're given credit for," one Apple retail employee said. "But I don't work here to get credit. I'm here to do my job well and to represent the brand as best I can."
To read the full report and the complete responses from employees, visit 9to5Mac's article here.